The new Miss USA was just crowned this evening, and the crown went to 25-year-old Kára McCullough, representing the District of Columbia. McCullough is a physical scientist at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and she has a self-funded program, Science Exploration for Kids, which has science and math tutoring for kids and teens.
McCullough also decided to wear her hair natural for the pageant, a decision she pained over.
“I decided to embrace what makes me feel comfortable and what makes me feel the best and brightest on stage,” she told Refinery29, “but also embrace what other people can relate to. That typical, traditional sleek hair with a big tease, not to say it’s gone out the window, but it’s transitioning a lot.”
That said, not everyone was happy with winner McCullough’s answers during the pageant, eloquent as they may have been: she asserted that healthcare should only go to those with jobs, and that she wouldn’t call herself a feminist — but more, an equalist.
…so DC has no idea what feminism means. #MissUSA
— r&b legend seulgi (@sciattas) May 15, 2017
*sighs* I guess we can’t have everything?
Still, McCullough definitely breaks the historical “pageant girl” mold in more ways than one — and she isn’t the only competitor who does.
The Miss USA pageant as a whole is becoming much more diverse and representative of our country. The majority of the top ten contestants were actually women of color, Bustle reports. Miss New Jersey Chhavi Verg, Miss Missouri Bayleigh Dayton, Miss California India Williams, Miss District of Columbia Kára McCullough, Miss South Carolina Megan Gordon, Miss New York, and Miss Illinois Whitney Wandland all cleared the top ten.
People were pretty damn pleased with it.
— Kamie Crawford (@TheRealKamie) May 15, 2017
Congratulations to all of the women who competed!